chronicwnderlst

A place to indulge an affliction

How did I get so lucky…

5 Comments

…to work on a class assignment while at one of my favorite places in the world? Here’s me jumping for joy when I visited Joshua Tree National Park this week, for the first time in over a decade.

Jumping for joy at Joshua Tree National Park

Jumping for joy at Joshua Tree National Park

I consider myself a perpetual work in progress in the photography department, so I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity to try and re-try some of these tips while I was in Twentynine Palms, CA on business travel. Joshua Tree National Park is full of happy memories for me,  of camping and hiking with friends. So,  it was with great pleasure to visit again (after a 10 year hiatus since moving to the East Coast). Armed with my camera (and iPhone as back up) and many of the photography tips offered in this assignment, I set off late one afternoon to this wonderland. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them:

1. Foregound/Background Contrast (credit: Eight Great Techniques for Great Photographs)

 

Joshua tree in the foreground of boulders lit by the setting sun (April 2, 2014)

Joshua tree in the foreground of boulders lit by the setting sun (April 2, 2014)


Sunsets are magical at Joshua Tree National Park. The trees take on an even more mystical air against the backdrop of a setting sun. In the photo above, the setting sun gave the boulders in the background dramatic colors. In the photo below, the setting sun is the backdrop for the joshua trees:
Sunset over Jumbo Rocks Campground

Sunset over Jumbo Rocks Campground

2. Framing (credit: Eight Great Techniques for Great Photographs)

Petroglyphs framed by native flora

Petroglyphs framed by native flora

Joshua tree in mirror is not closer than it appears

Car side mirror frames silhouette of Joshua trees

A Joshua tree frames another  in the distance

A Joshua tree frames another in the distance

I took a few shots experimenting with having things in the park frame others. The petroglyphs in the first photo are framed by the rock wall was well as the surrounding bush. The silhouette of the Joshua trees in the second photo are framed by the car side mirror, as I was leaving the park. The branches of a Joshua tree frame the other Joshua trees in the distance, as well as the boulders lit by the setting sun.

3. Perspective (credit: Eight Great Techniques for Great Photographs)

Looking up a Joshua tree from the perspective of a cholla bush

Looking up a Joshua tree from the perspective of a cholla bush

Up close and prickly with desert flowers

Up close and prickly with desert flowers


I had a couple of prickly misadventures during my effort to shoot photos from a different perspective. I had to crouch down and get very close to a cholla bush and was pricked by a neighboring cacti in the process. But it was worth it to get the photo of looking up at the Joshua tree.

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5 thoughts on “How did I get so lucky…

  1. You might not get an answer for the source of the luck but you definitely made good use of the setting. I don’t think I ever had a student who choose a natural landmark.

    I am pleased with the inventiveness and experimentation in your photos, as in the framing shots. What kind of camera did you use?

    You also demonstrated the tip of looking for good light, of which Joshua Tree provides in abundance.

    I’ve done a lot oh hikes in the Sonoran Desert (Arizona) and a recommended item to carry is a pocket comb, most effective at prying off one of those balls of jumping cholla.

    Excellent safari work!

    • Thank you! I used my trusty point-and-shoot camera, a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS. I don’t have those fancy DSLRs 😦 Thanks for the tip about the pocket comb; I’ll have to remember that next time!

      • Those PowerShots do very well– again it’s not all about best equipment if you learn to find good light and creatively compose your shots (see the book cleverly called “the best camera is the one in your hand”)

  2. Prickly misadventures! that made me smile. They are so beautiful. A favourite place for me too so really enjoyed the photos. I also learnt something with your examples of framing – a favourite is the car side mirror frame. The light in the foreground/background photo – wow!

    • Thank you! I love Joshua Tree NP. I had taken another photo earlier, of the boulders framed by the car’s side mirror, but I wanted to post the one of the joshua trees at night, to convey my sadness of once again leaving the park.

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